Rumors have emerged about a wrapper under development that will allow gamers to play Vista-only DirectX 10 games under Windows XP.
The Alky Project, run by "software reverse-engineer" Cody Brocious, is intended to give DirectX 10 the sort of backward-compatibility Microsoft claims is impossible to achieve. When completed, Brocious says the project will produce a fully-developed software wrapper that will allow DirectX 10 games such as Alan Wake to be played under Windows XP.
Currently, the Alky Project has released a preview of its DirectX 10 compatibility libraries, which will allow the execution of several examples from the DirectX 10 SDK on Windows XP. As previews, the functionality is limited, but according to the site, "We hope to release builds in the coming months progressing from demos to fully functional games."
The Alky Project is part of Falling Leaf Systems' Sapling Program, described as "a limited-time promotion which will allow gaming fans to take part in an effort to bring popular gaming titles to Mac OSX and Linux." Membership in the Sapling Program costs $50, non-refundable; while the site claims this money will help fund the development of the Alky Project and build relationships with game developers and publishers, it should also inject a healthy dose of skepticism and caution into otherwise-hopeful gamers.
Questions regarding the veracity of the site's claims abound, with many sources claiming that real DirectX 10-compatibility on non-Vista platforms is in fact impossible. While it is expected that Microsoft would react poorly to a functional DirectX 10 wrapper, the software giant has not yet commented on the issue, and presumably will not do so until and unless proof of the wrapper exists.